Heroes, Horses & Harpoons – Rediscovering ‘Terror in a Texas Town’ (US 1958 – 80 mins)

Rediscover ‐ July 23, 2017

An uneven movie that’s become something of a cult oddity, the low-budget western ‘Terror in a Texas Town’ is an interesting revenge piece which is noted mainly for its unique (if over-too-soon) showdown.

Returning from years of being at sea, Swedish whaler George Hanson (Sterling Hayden) finds that his father, a local
farmer, has been killed by hired gunman Johnny Crale (Ned Young), and that the corrupt sheriff has done nothing about it. It transpires that a no-good land baron (Sebastian Cabot) is forcing the locals to sell him their land at a low price, and when Hanson learns that there’s oil …

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The Ruling Class – Rediscovering ‘Unman, Wittering and Zigo’ – (UK 1971 – 102 mins)

Rediscover ‐ June 25, 2017

Based on a 1958 radio play by Giles Cooper, the eerie obscurity ‘Unman, Wittering and Zigo’ is a cult sleeper that’s been strangely unavailable for decades. An intriguing psycho-thriller about a class of posh boys lording it over their teacher, it makes the troublesome teens of ‘To Sir With Love’ seem like pussycats.

Soon after arriving at “Chantry Boys Boarding School”, new teacher John Ebony (David Hemmings) is quietly informed by his polite pupils that they have killed John’s Predecessor after he gave them detention. Disbelieving this, Ebony slowly comes to realize that the boys may in fact be telling …

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A Tale of Two Sisters – Rediscovering ‘Cruel Passion’ – (UK 1977 – 99 mins)

Rediscover ‐ June 04, 2017

Better than its reputation suggests, the atmospheric ‘Cruel Passion’ is a pretty good period drama which mixed eroticism with human suffering, creating an interesting, if rather depressing, tale of two rather different sisters.

18th Century England, and orphaned teenage sisters Justine (Koo Stark) and Juliette (Lydia Lisle) are expelled from their strict orphanage and thrown into the murky world of prostitution, which Juliette enthusiastically accepts. Justine however, wants no part of this sordid world and decides to run away and find her own virtuous way of living. Unfortunately for her though, this decision leads to a series of misadventures, and ultimately, …

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Road Trip – Rediscovering ‘The Last Detail’ (US 1973 – 105 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 30, 2017

A funny and sometimes touching movie; the naval comedy-drama ‘The Last Detail’ took a while to get noticed, but has since become an endearing favourite for many, and features one of Jack Nicholson’s greatest performances. Released in a year of crowd-pleasers such as ‘The Sting’, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘Paper Moon’, it stood alone as a gritty and bleak-looking character piece. Sadly, to this day it still remains a somewhat forgotten picture.

Navy officers, Billy “Badass” Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and Richard “Mule” Mulhall (Otis Young) are tasked with bringing a young offender (Randy Quaid) to a naval prison in New Hampshire, for …

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Sometimes a Great Actor – Remembering Richard Jaeckel (1926 – 1997)

Remember ‐ April 17, 2017

A favourite of Robert Aldrich, the short, blond and stocky Richard Jaeckel seemed to spend most of his long screen career carrying a gun. He played in many westerns and war movies, and even though he sometimes disappeared into the background, his tough-guy persona was always a welcome presence, even in the most trashy of pictures.

Born in New York on October 10th 1926, Jaeckel was discovered while working at 20th Century-Fox as a mailboy. After debuting in the 1943 war flick ‘Guadalcanal Diary’, Richard’s first role of note came in the powerful John Wayne picture ‘Sands of Iwo Jima’ …

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Electrickery! – Rediscovering ‘House of Mystery’ (UK 1961 – 54 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 02, 2017

I remember catching the eerie little chiller ‘House of Mystery’ many years ago on television, and being very creeped out by it by the very end. With a short running time that crams in a lot of plot and a few surprises, it’s a memorable addition to the ‘cosy old house at a bargain price’ genre.

After finding the home of their dreams in the country, a pair of newlyweds (Ronald Hines and Colette Wilde) are told by the mysterious housekeeper, stories of haunting’s and tragedy that occurred to the home’s previous owners.

While it’s a rather talky supernatural tale, ‘House …

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Fatal Distraction – Rediscovering ‘Craving Desire’ (Italy 1993 – 97 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 19, 2017

A trashy but enjoyable psychological thriller from Italy; ‘Craving Desire’ is a twisty tale of infatuation, jealousy and murder, notable for featuring an impressive turn by its lovely female star; Vittoria Belvedere.

After the unexpected arrival of his beautiful cousin Sonia, young Luigi’s personal and professional life is rapidly turned upside down, after an intimate relationship begins between the two. Cancelling his engagement, Sonia assures Luigi that they are not blood relatives due to infidelity in their family. But Sonia appears to have a dangerous side too, and soon both she and Luigi are engaging in evermore daring adventures, including a …

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The Bodyguard – Rediscovering ‘Sara’ (Poland 1997 – 107 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 12, 2017

A wonderful discovery from Poland, the compelling and exciting crime drama ‘Sara’ shares quite a few similarities with Luc Besson’s hugely popular 1994 hit ‘The Professional’ (both hit-men are called Leon, and both have tragic backstories). But while ‘Sara’ may be far less stylish, it does have more realism to it, and like ‘Leon’, superb performances from its two lead characters.

When a powerful crime lord is set upon by his cold-blooded enemies, he hires alcoholic ex-commando; Leon (Boguslaw Linda), to protect his beautiful 16 year old daughter Sara (Agnieszka Wlodarczyk). Despite being much older, the rebellious but professional Leon soon …

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The Fugitive Kind – Rediscovering ‘Aloha, Bobby and Rose’ (US 1975 – 88 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 04, 2017

A minor cult hit from the exciting 70’s; ‘Aloha, Bobby and Rose’ is one of those pictures that regularly surprises, with a storyline that veers off into different directions, culminating in a tense and rather downbeat ending.

Soon after they start dating, mechanic Bobby (Paul Le Mat) and single mother Rose (Dianne Hull) are enjoying a night out on the town. While at a liquor store, Bobby does a fake “stick up” as a prank to amuse Rose. Tragically, this backfires when the young cashier is accidentally shot and killed by the store’s owner, leaving Bobby and Rose running from the …

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“That Red-Headed Girl” – Peggy Shannon (1907 – 1941)

Rewind ‐ February 27, 2017

Beautiful red-head Peggy Shannon showed a fair amount of talent and appeal in her 10 year movie career. But sadly her personal problems and a serious battle with the bottle, would bring a halt to that career, and ultimately her life.

Born Winona Sammon on January 10th 1907, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Peggy Shannon was discovered at 16 by producer Flo Ziegfeld who hired her as a chorus girl in The Ziegfeld Follies. After a stint on Broadway, Peggy signed a contract with Paramount in 1931, and was touted as the new Clara Bow. Her first movie was ‘The Secret …

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